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Why Are We Not Innovating On The Big Problems?

As I scan my news feeds I constantly see talk of all the innovation going on—everyone is doing it! In the same feeds I see lots of really big problems like people out of work, mega-drought in California, heating fuel shortages in rural areas, power grid issues, and the list goes on and on.

One side of my news feed showcases how we are innovating with technology in so many new ways, and the other side just tells how screwed we are. Which is it? Are we innovating or are we drowning in big problems?

I’m not saying that there aren’t interesting innovations coming out of the tech sector. I’m saying that I think much of what we claim to be innovations is wasted on non-problems, and potentially profitable ways, not on the real problems we actually face as a society.

How do we incentivize entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to turn their attention to the biggest problems like water, energy, the environment and other critical areas of our world? If we can do this, then I think we can proudly showcase our work as innovation.

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